Researchers and policymakers working on prosperity, happiness and wellbeing in the UK have recently reworked GDP-centred notions of progress and identified community and belonging as major determinants of a good life. The dominant notion of community in most writing on this topic draws on Putnam’s work on social capital as measured by trust and/or civic engagement. This approach, however, captures only the social aspect of community, without addressing the symbolic dimension of political discourses and their national and local effects. Using data from Newham, London, this article argues that a narrow focus on social capital obfuscates the complexity of community dynamics, leading to misconceptions about the causes of social fragmentation. In the case of Newham, we show that while survey data on social capital suggests that diversity is detrimental to community life, a more nuanced analysis reveals that it is in fact an important part of community cohesion.
Recent research shows that Lebanon could witness an increase of 1.2 to 3.2 degrees in temperatures in areas that are already very arid and suffer from water shortage. An increase in temperature and a decrease in precipitation will have particular impact on the electricity sector - a higher cooling demand in summer and increased consumption for electricity. Rising sea levels and water scarcity in Lebanon could lead to internal climate migration and mass displacement from rural to coastal regions affecting agricultural output, jobs and livelihoods. The economic situation in the cities that are already prone to poverty, illiteracy and unemployment could become worse.Read More
At the IGP we fundamentally believe that citizens and communities should be at the centre of efforts to reimagine prosperity and to define what matters to them for a good quality of life. We do not assume what matters; we ask people to tell us what matters to them.Read More